Breakdown of chlorophyll: A nonenzymatic reaction accounts for the formation of the colorless "nonfluorescent" chlorophyll catabolites

Oberhuber, M.; Berghold, J.; Breuker, K.; Hörtensteiner, Stefan; Krautler, B. (2003). Breakdown of chlorophyll: A nonenzymatic reaction accounts for the formation of the colorless "nonfluorescent" chlorophyll catabolites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS, 100(12), pp. 6910-6915. National Academy of Sciences NAS 10.1073/pnas.1232207100

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Senescent higher plants degrade their chlorophylls (Chls) to polar colorless tetrapyrrolic Chl catabolites, which accumulate in the vacuoles. In extracts from degreened leaves of the tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum an unpolar catabolite of this type was discovered. This tetrapyrrole was named Cj-NCC-2 and was found to be identical with the product of a stereoselective nonenzymatic isomerization of a “fluorescent” Chl catabolite. This (bio-mimetic) formation of the “nonfluorescent” catabolite Cj-NCC-2 took place readily at ambient temperature and at pH 4.9 in aqueous solution. The indicated nonenzymatic process is able to account for a crucial step during Chl breakdown in senescent higher plants. Once delivered to the acidic vacuoles, the fluorescent Chl catabolites are due to undergo a rapid, stereoselective isomerization to the ubiquitous nonfluorescent catabolites. The degradation of the Chl macrocycle is thus indicated to rely on just two known enzymes, one of which is senescence specific and cuts open the chlorin macroring. The two enzymes supply the fluorescent Chl catabolites, which are “programmed” to isomerize further rapidly in an acidic medium, as shown here. Indeed, only small amounts of the latter are temporarily observable during senescence in higher plants.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant nutrition (discontinued)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Hörtensteiner, Stefan

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0027-8424

Publisher:

National Academy of Sciences NAS

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

07 Dec 2015 10:36

Last Modified:

07 Dec 2015 10:36

Publisher DOI:

10.1073/pnas.1232207100

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.73352

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/73352

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